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What You Must Know About Power Of Attorney

Power of attorney or POA is a legal document that authorizes somebody to act and decide for you. If you are a resident of San Diego CA, and you want to ensure you carry out your wishes when you become incoherent or mentally unsound, then you need to set up a POA. 

There are two main types of power of attorney: healthcare and financial. This article will discuss the different types of POAs and how they work. In addition, it will also discuss why a POA is vital and what considerations to make when setting one up.

Power of attorney is a legal tool that can be useful in various situations. While this blog intends to give you a general overview of POA, it’s always best to speak with an experienced San Diego estate planning attorney to get the most accurate and up-to-date information. Weiner Law can assist with your legal needs.

Know Everything Necessary And Relevant In Your Legal Case By Starting With Legal Professionals Your Power Of Attorney

Power Of Attorney Defined

A POA legally designates another individual to act and decide for you on financial and medical matters. In San Diego CA, a power of attorney can be used for various purposes, including managing bank accounts and investments, paying bills, filing taxes, and making health care decisions. 

Once the document is signed, it gives the agent the legal authority to act for you. However, it’s important to note that the agent cannot decide against your wishes or interests. If you need help making decisions about your finances or health care, a power of attorney can be a valuable tool.

What Does A POA Do?

The POA document covers a specific event or period or gives the agent the authority to act and decide for you. When setting up power of attorney, you decide which type works best.

  • Financial POA: This POA authorizes your agent to handle financial concerns such as managing your bank accounts, paying bills, filing taxes, selling property, and making investments.
  • Healthcare power of attorney: A healthcare POA empowers your agent to make medical decisions for you if you become incapacitated and unable to make them yourself. The healthcare POA must comply with San Diego CA, laws and regulations.

Why Is There A Need For Power Of Attorney?

A power of attorney can be an invaluable tool for protecting your interests if you become incapacitated or incapable of making decisions independently. It gives the agent the legal authority to decide and act for you when you cannot, ensuring that your wishes are respected and that all financial matters are handled according to your instructions.

Who Can Become Your Attorney-In-Fact?

In California, a power of attorney designates someone else the ability to decide for you. The person you appoint as your POA is your agent or attorney-in-fact. You can give your agent any legal authority, including the power to buy or sell property, sign contracts, file taxes, and make medical decisions. You can also appoint multiple agents. However, it’s essential to consider who you select as your POA carefully. The person you choose should be someone you trust implicitly and who can handle the responsibilities you give them.

Can You Appoint Multiple Agents?

Appointing multiple agents is possible, and this can be beneficial if you don’t trust one person completely. This way, your agents can serve as a “check” on the other’s power. For example, if you have two agents, both will need to sign any documents relating to the POA. It is also essential to remember that POA only lasts until you die or become incapacitated; it cannot be used when you are mentally competent and able to decide for yourself.

What Are The Requirements For A POA Agent?

No specific requirements exist for who can serve as your POA in California. However, the person you choose must be at least 18 years old and of sound mind. In addition, they cannot be convicted of a felony. If you’re unsure about whether someone meets these requirements, you can ask them to provide a certification of good moral character from a notary public or attorney.

When appointing someone as your POA, it’s crucial to write your wishes, ensuring there’s no confusion about what authority you’re giving them. You can nominate someone as your POA by completing and signing a Durable POA form. This form must be signed in front of a notary public or two adult witnesses. Once the form is complete, you should give a copy to your agent and keep one for yourself. 

You should also notify any individuals or organizations affected by your decision, such as your bank or financial advisor. Appointing a POA is an important decision, but it can give you peace of mind knowing that your affairs will be taken care of if something happens to you.

How Do You Create A Power Of Attorney?

There are two types of POA in California: non-durable and durable. A durable POA is used for financial matters. It continuous to be effective until you are no longer capable of sound actions and decisions. At the same time, non-durable power of attorney is used for other issues, such as health care decisions, and only remains in effect as long as you are competent.

To create a power of attorney in San Diego CA, you must complete a form and have it signed by a notary public. The form must include the following information: your name and address, the name and address of the person you are appointing, known as the agent, the type of authority you are granting (durable or non-durable), and the effective date of the document. 

You should also include specific instructions or limitations on the agent’s authority. Once the form is complete, it must be signed by both you and your designated agent in front of a notary public. San Diego CA requires that two adults must also witness the document.

What Should You Consider When Setting Up Power Of Attorney?

When setting up power of attorney in San Diego CA, it’s essential to consider several factors.

  • Choose Someone You Trust: Your power of attorney should be someone you trust implicitly and willing to act in your best interests. Make sure they understand their role and are comfortable with their given authority.
  • Be Specific About Your Wishes: To avoid misunderstandings or disputes, clearly state your wishes when setting up power of attorney. You can include specific instructions or limitations on the agent’s authority if you wish.
  • Get The Proper Documentation Completed: Power of attorney must be completed on a legal form, signed by both parties, and witnessed by two adults before being notarized. To ensure that the POA is valid, all pertinent papers must be filled up properly.

Is Power Of Attorney & Will The Same?

While power of attorney is a tool you can use as part of estate planning, it is not the same as a will. The former gives someone you appoint authority to make decisions for you, while the latter can distribute your property and assets after your death.

What Are Risks Associated With Power Of Attorney?

When setting up a POA, remember that your agent can manage your finances and decide for you. As a result, there are possible risks if your agent misuses their power or acts against your wishes. To minimize these risks, appoint someone you trust, limit their capacity as needed, and have a San Diego estate planning attorney review the document before you sign it.

Another way to minimize risks is to hire a capable and experienced estate planning lawyer to help create a power of attorney in San Diego CA. They can review the POA form and ensure that it is appropriately executed to protect your interests. They can require your appointed agent to report their activities and provide an annual accounting of your assets.

Making provisions for POA can be an essential step for ensuring that your affairs are taken care of if something happens to you. If you are considering it, conduct research, appoint someone reliable and honest, understand the risks involved, and consult an estate planning lawyer. With careful planning and consideration, POA can provide peace of mind knowing your interests are looked after.

Weiner Law Can Help With POA

This article is intended as general information and should not be used as legal advice or a substitute for obtaining individualized legal counsel regarding power of attorney in San Diego CA. In addition to this article’s content, consult here a qualified estate planning lawyer to discuss your specific needs.

If you are considering POA, and need assistance drafting or executing a POA document, contact Weiner Law. They have the experience and skills in drafting POA and can provide sound legal advice in protecting your interests. Contact their offices in San Diego CA, for more information.

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